The Central Election Committee (CEC) of Congress that met in Delhi on Tuesday, finalised six Lok Sabha candidates from Punjab out of the 13 seats and announced Preneet Kaur, the wife of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and a three-time former MP, to contest from Patiala, the home district of the CM.
Four sitting Members of Parliament, including PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar from Gurdaspur, Chaudhary Santokh from Jalandhar, GS Aujla from Amritsar and Ravneet Singh Bittu from Ludhiana were renominated from their constituencies.
Preneet Kaur was defeated by the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi during the 2014 elections.
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Sitting MLA Raj Kumar Chabbewal is the candidate from Hoshiarpur, an SC-reserved seat. Party general secretary in-charge Asha Kumari has confirmed all the six names.
The CEC decided to keep the rest of the seven constituencies pending for want of more discussion.
“The rest of the candidates would be announced in the next meeting,” said Kumari.
While Jakhar, Bittu, Chaudhary Santokh and Preneet Kaur were sure shot candidates, renomination of Aujla has come out as a surprise as the party was not planning to renominate him considering a disconnect between him and the sitting Congress MLAs. However, his name was renominated after a recommendation from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the meeting itself, a source in Congress said.
Chabbewal’s name was also finalised by the Congress Screening Committee that met in Delhi last Friday.